7 Great Gadgets for Weight Loss & Fitness

image source: Amazon.co.uk
HRM: Polar FT4 in Purple
Technology is often accused of encouraging lazy lifestyles. Personally, I disagree. These seven gadgets below can motivate and help you become much more active and health aware. 

1. Heart Rate Monitor 

Ever gone for a really long run or had an amazing gym class workout and then wished you knew how many calories you'd burned off in the process? Well a heart rate monitor (HRM) can tell you this using your pre-programmed vitals such as height, age and weight.  In addition it can display other useful details like length of the workout and your heart rate zone (which indicates the intensity). The best HRM are those with a chest strap that fits comfortably under your clothes or sports bra and wirelessly transits your heart rate to the watch on your wrist. 

2. Pedometer 
image source: Amazon.co.uk
Pedometer: Timex

Some experts say you should aim for 10,000 steps a day for an active lifestyle. To count them, you use one of these little gadgets. Some models (such as the Timex pictured left) will even tell you how many calories you've burned and the distance you've walked. 

3. Digital Food Scale

image source: Amazon.co.uk
Food Scale: Duronic KS1009
Great for anyone that cooks and valuable for anyone measuring out their portions. Unlike their analog counterparts, digital scales are more accurate and with a touch of a button they can measure in a range of units, for example, both mg and ml. Usually they're made out of stainless steel (as opposed to plastic) so you can measure juicy fruits and veggies and easily wipe the scale clean afterwards. If you wish to use them for liquids or messy solids like flour and cereal, you can always place a small dish on the scale, touch a button to 'zero' to scale and then add your food/liquid. My personal favourite is the Duronic KS1009 (pictured right).  

4. Swimming Pool Lap Counter

image source: Amazon.co.uk
Sportcount Chrono 100
This one's for the swimmers! Ever lost count of how many lengths of the pool you have just swum? Well worry no more, a tiny little waterproof gadget like the Sportcount Chrono 100 (pictured right) can be worn on your finger whilst you swim. Simply press the button with your thumb once you reach each side of the pool and this little gadgets will keep track for you, leaving your mind free to think about more pressing issues. This particular model also tells you how fast your average lap is and how long you've been swimming for. Trust me, pressing the button when you reach the side becomes a habit very quickly.  You could even use it for running and count/time your dash around the block or the track. 

5. Computer

Never underestimate the power of the machine you're already sitting in front of! You can find many weight loss support forums and online communities to support you on your weight loss and fitness journey such as My Fitness Pal, Sparkspeople, Livestrong and WeightWatchers Online to name a few (you can read about my own experience of My Fitness Pal here). Gadgets such as the lap counter can be used in conjunction with websites like Splashpath which records your lengths and even maps them onto challenge maps and Polar have a site which allows you to map your HRM data onto it to assess the progress you're making. The Internet is a fantastic source of information, such as nutritional guidelines from government agencies, recipes from all over the world for just about any food you can think of, success stories to motivate you, reviews of workouts, gyms, classes etc. and not forgetting, online shopping is also handy, you can save lots of money on sports equipment and clothing!   

6. Smartphone

There are so many uses for this product, listen to music whilst you workout, browse the Internet for the sites listed above, away from your desk, or use it to download one of the many health apps available (see my list of the top 5 health and fitness apps). 

7. Games Console

Yes, gaming can be good for your health! If you haven't had a go on the Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 Kinect, you're missing out on an interactive workout at home! Perfect for anyone that already has one in the house (borrow the kid's whilst they're in bed, or play Wii Bowling with them!). Popular fitness games include the Wii Fit, Zumba, EA Active, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved and many many dance games such as the Just Dance series. Fitness games are so much more fun than a DVD that just shouts commands at you.  
(BTBS will be reviewing each of these games in detail over the coming months so stay tuned!) 

You can each of these gadgets here:

Your turn: What gadgets do you use for fitness or weight loss?

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